Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seagate BlackArmor - 500GB *and* USB 3.0

The BlackArmor portable hard drive from Seagate is a nice portable solution with 1/2 Terabyte of storage, but what really sets it apart is its USB 3.0 connection.

What is USB 3.0 you ask? It is the newest USB standard that you'll start seeing in many devices during 2010. It allows you to transfer data up to 3 times faster than the USB 2.o devices you are using now. Imagine the time savings of backing up large files, photos, database, etc. It is also backward compatible so you can use it on 2.0 devices, but you'll lose the gain in speed.

The device retails for $99.99.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Victorinox Launches Swiss Army Flash Drive - Unhackable?

I've always thought the Swiss Army flash drives were way cool. The whole idea of a Swiss Army knife gets most geeks ready to pull out a credit card. Then came the idea of putting a jump drive in the knife and my "geek-o-meter" went off the scale. Well imagine my reaction when I learned today that the Victorinox company, makers of the Swiss Army knife, have released a new version called The Victorinox Secure Pro.

This device isn't just a flash drive in a knife like the older models were. This one has some security features that has prompted the company to offer a prize of £ 100,000 to anyone who can hack it.

The device features AES256 encryption as well as a fingerprint reader and, get this, a thermal and oxygen sensor that can tell whether the finger is still attached to its owner or not.The device will sell for £100 for an 8GB model and £245 for a 32GB model. Amazing technology and the price isn't too bad.

The only drawback for me is that the software to run it is Windows only currently.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lighthouseplz Keeps Us in Contact With Our Patients

One of the great things about technology is is the ability to be more efficient while increasing what you do. There are many ways in dentistry to do this. One of the best things I've seen for the administrative staff is to use Lighthouseplz.

Lighthouse keeps us in constant contact with our patient base. It interfaces with our practice operating system, Eaglesoft and frees the admin team to concentrate on other aspects of their responsibilities. We rarely do confirming phone calls anymore. Since we have patient e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers in the Eaglesoft database it's easy. Lighthouse interfaces remotely with our database and sends e-mail and mobile phone messages to confirm appointments.

That alone is pretty cool, but Lighthouse also works the process in reverse as well. By interfacing with Eaglesoft, when a patient electronically confirms, Lighthouse goes into Eaglesoft and marks their appointment as confirmed in the software. The admin team doesn't have to do anything! The appointments simply show up in the schedule as "confirmed".

Lighthouse also sends out patient satisfaction surveys, newsletters, and much more. For the full story, check out their website. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

AR Drone - Easy Flying & Wicked Easy Controls

Behold the AR Drone. This four propeller helicopter can fly, hover, and even send images from its nose mounted camera. The best part? You can control it from your iPod Touch or iPhone. The camera sends views back to your controlling device as well as providing you with a HUD (Heads Up Display). No word on cost yet, but it should be available in 2010. If you're interested in purchasing, you can monitor the website. Read on for all the details.

Dear publishers & developers,

In January 2010, we unveiled the Parrot AR.DRONE, the first ever flying Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with Augmented Reality.


For the first time an affordable helicopter will come with stabilized fly model, making it so easy to pilot even a child can control it.

Thanks to its Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), Digital Signal Processor (DSP), Inertial measurement unit (IMU) and sensors, the Parrot AR.DRONE turns complex fly patterns into an easy-to-pilot system.

Children will pilot AR.DRONE instinctively, using the iPhone, without any learning curve. This allows for an incredible fly experience and acrobatics.


While the iPhone will display the HUD, controls, animations and sounds, the Parrot AR.DRONE will fly around you. Stop moving your iPhone and the AR.DRONE will stay put, steady, balancing its engines to fly as well as a hummingbird.

The AR.DRONE can play solo games with Augmented Reality, relying on 2D or 3D gametags in the real world to create virtual tracks or display virtual enemies.

Even better, a multiplayer demo experience is built-in: the "Drone War" allowing 2 AR.DRONE to compete for air supremacy, with virtual lasers and missiles!


By registering on, you will be able to download the SDK, buy a AR.DRONE flying kit and start developing great and innovative video games.

Thanks to the Open Game API we provide, your projects will change the way video games are played, both indoor and outdoor.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Student Loan Company: Data on 3.3M People Stolen

In the continuing saga of large companies failing to keep data safe, comes this story. Educational Credit Management Corp has admitted that information on 3.3 million people has been stolen from its headquarters.

Rather than try and explain the whole thing, here is a link to the story on

Friday, March 26, 2010

Zomm - Never Misplace your Mobile Phone Again

Every once in a while I stumble across a product that is a "slap your forehead" kind of thing because it's so simple and solves a common problem and I wonder "why didn't I think of that?"

The Zomm is that kind of product. In February I was at the Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting and I was on my way to an event hosted by Danaher on the 99th floor of the Sears Tower. The building is considered a national landmark, and as such, you are screened before entering. It's similar to what you go through in airports. As I stepped up, I reached for my Palm Pre mobile phone only to realize it wasn't in my pocket. I panicked, as my entire life was in that phone. I had just gotten out of cab, was it rolling around on the floor bouncing all over Chicago? Fortunately when I got back to my room that night, it was laying on the bed where I had left it. I was relieved, to say the least.

Now there's Zomm. It's brilliant in its simplicity. The idea was conceived by a mom who kept hearing friends and her kids complaining about losing their phones. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and is attached to your keychain. It sounds an alarm if you get more than a few yards away from your phone. It also provides call notification with full mobile speakerphone functionality, provides a panic button and calls emergency assistance from anywhere in the world with just one press of a button.

The device is ingenious and will be available in summer 2010. You can even preorder them for $79.99 from the Zomm website. Very cool!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Sprint WiMax Cities are on the Horizon

The CTIA wireless trade show is currently in progress and that means there will be plenty of announcements from wireless carriers and phone manufacturers.

One of the big announcements today was from my hometown company, Sprint. They've been rolling out WiMax to limited markets, but today announced that the service will be coming to other cities soon. The WiMax service is currently available in 27 cities, including Baltimore, Seattle, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. In the not too distant future it will be available in Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C

Needless to say the Kansas City rollout is high on my list of geek projects for the year. Why am I excited about WiMax? It's the
up-to-12 megabit/second download speeds and the fact that Sprint has stated the plans will have unlimited data. That's paradise for someone like me!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nintendo Announces 3DS Portable Game System

Some of the greatest innovation comes from the world of gaming. I got my first taste of technology with arcade games and the original Atari. A lot of the innovation of the early tech days and the proof of Moore's Law were greatly because of the constant improvement that game designers kept churning out. Unfortunately, I haven't played much in the last 15 years, but I still remember...

Today Nintendo announced the next big thing for handheld gaming. Since it was launched in 2004, the Mario folks have been making and selling millions of their DS portable gaming system. While at one time it was thought Sony's PSP would conquer this market, the DS became the device that it seemed every kid had.

Now comes the next generation the 3DS which promises a 3D gaming experience with no glasses. Supposedly using something referred to as "naked eye 3D using a parallax barrier technique developed by Sharp Electronics". From what I can glean, this technology is already being used in some types of mobile phones in Japan.

The press release was released on the company's Japanese website and I found what was stated to be a translation. It seems to contain good info, but I cannot confirm it is indeed from Nintendo:

Nintendo Co., Ltd.(Minami-ward of Kyoto-city, President Satoru Iwata) will launch “N intendo 3D S”(temp) during the fiscal year ending March 2011, on which games can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.
“Nintendo 3DS”(temp) is going to be the new portable game machine to succeed “Nintendo DS series”, whose cumulative consolidated sales from Nintendo amounted to 125million units as of the end of December 2009, and will include backward compatibility so that the software for Nintendo DS series, including the ones for Nintendo DSi, can also be enjoyed.
We are planning to announce additional details at E3 show, which is scheduled to be held from June 15, 2010 at Los Angeles in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eaglesoft 16.0 Beta Test

As I usually do, I'm beta testing the next version of Eaglesoft. This release promised some updates to the front desk that should be welcome to most users.

I did the install of the new software Monday evening and while it was time consuming, every workstation updated without a problem. I noticed this version taking a bit longer to install, but that's the way it goes frequently when more than just cosmetic changes are being made.

One recommendation I can make to anyone installing a program on multiple computers on a network. Rather than going from machine to machine with a CD, copy the CD to your server or a speedy workstation and then do the installation across the network. This allows you to have several computers updating at the same time. It's also handy in case you cant' find your original installation CD. You can always go back to the copy on the server and install from that just as if you had the CD.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Technology Fits and the NCAA

Every once in a while I get what I call a "technology fit". These are moments when even I'm overwhelmed by the amazing amount of technology I'm surrounded by and how easy it can make certain aspects of my life.

This weekend as March madness went into full bloom, I was delighted and sometimes blown away by how much technology has affected the NCAA Tournament.

I'm not just talking about text messaging of scores... although I was getting those. No, I'm talking about things we really take for granted but have changed how we receive and view information.

I watched several games and, thanks to my DVR, I was able to pause, rewind, and slow-motion replay whenever I felt the situation demanded it. I could have even recorded the games, though i chose not to.

Keeping track of the other games being played was easy. My iPod Touch was running the NCAA app and thanks to my wireless network, I could check stats and scores from other games without even getting up or changing the channel. The app also has a full bracket view so I could see how games were affecting the overall "bracketology"

A couple of times I had to run some errands, but no worries. The Tahoe Hybrid has XM Radio and that meant that I could listen to any game I wanted to. Sirius/XM also puts the score right there on the radio screen so I could check scores at stop lights.

Oh, and then there was the ability to Tweet about the games with friends all over the country/world by using the Twee on my Palm Pre and Twittelator on my iPod Touch.

The weekend was awesome. It was a great merger of the sports nut and geek in me. The really stunning thing was that it wasn't until Sunday night that I really began to consider how much my viewing and tracking experience has changed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Zipcharge Quick Charger

As someone who spends a fair amount of time on the road, I'm always on the hunt for things that can make road warrior life easier/less stressful.

I was really excited when I came across the Zipcharge. The idea is pretty cool. The device comes with tips that will charge almost any gadget you might have. Cool, you say, but there are lots of charger products that do that... and you're right. But the Zipcharge takes this to a whole different level.

Here's just a little snippet from the website:

Why we invented it?
At Freeplay we travel a lot so need every portable device imaginable to keep us in touch or to entertain .......... all of which seem to run out of batteries at the most inconvenient times and in the most inconvenient places.

We decided that we couldn’t monkey around with this problem ...... we needed something that could store enough power to fully charge our mobile phones and iPods in the time it took us to have a coffee. The quest for the 10 minute ZipCharge began......

How it works?
Inside the ZipCharge is the very latest battery technology. It’s all clever nano physics stuff that you need a very big forehead to understand. We have quite a few people in our company like that.

Our state of the art battery chemistry and control electronics charge 4 times faster than a lithium-ion battery so you can get mobile again in a flash!

Product Features

Typical Performance
(Guideline only, performance will vary according to device)

Charging the ZipCharge for 10 minutes will store enough power to enable the following:

Mobile Phone Full Charge
iPOD Full Charge
Camera 800 pictures
2 Way Radio 12 hours

Charging the ZipCharge for only 60 seconds will store enough power to enable the following:

Mobile Phone 8 hrs standby / 15 min talk time
IPOD 2 hours playtime
Camera 80 pictures
2 Way Radio 1 hour 20 min

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Magnogrip Magnetic Wristband

Sometimes I just stumble across something and I think, "Wow, that's a simple idea with great application!" The Magnogrip is just such a product.

The device is one of those slap yourself in the forehead products that forces you to say, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"

Anyone who has ever dropped a screw or had someone stand there to hand you nails because you didn't have an easy place to keep them will appreciate the simplicity and ease of the Magnogrip.

The company makes an entire line of wearable magnetic products to help you keep track of all those little metal items you might be using at your job or in your home. These products are smart & affordable as well.

Friday, March 19, 2010

HP Confirms Slate Pricing

As the arrival of "pad computing" approaches (Apple's iPad will be available April 3), other companies that have been announcing similar solutions are beginning to confirm their specs and prices.

One of the more intriguing non-Apple devices is the HP Slate. The device is confirmed to run Windows 7, have USB ports, a memory card reader, support Flash (unlike the iPad) and have a webcam. Those are all nice features and definitely things that the iPad is known to not have.

The price from HP will be in the $550 neighborhood which isn't outrageous.

I'm still wondering exactly where these devices will fit into our everyday usage. Tablet PC's with no keyboard have been around for a few years now and are still a niche product, especially the ones with no keyboard. I have an iPod Touch and I like it, but I don't think that I'd want it to be my primary mobile computing device, especially since my MacBook Pro isn't that hard to carry. My plan is to definitely get into the Pad/Slate fad but I'm really interested to see where all of this goes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mayo Clinic study shows that dental procedures are not a risk factor in prosthetic hip or knee infections

Thanks to the good folks at Lexi-Comp. The following info was in their March 2010 Dental e-Newsletter. As dental professionals we're often "caught in the middle" in some areas. Perhaps none is so well known in the profession as prosthetic joint premedication. The guidelines surrounding this situation have changed frequently over the last few years and many dentists have been left confused and without much science to help in the decision making process.

Now comes a new study from the Mayo Clinic that sheds new light on this topic:

Mayo Clinic study shows that dental procedures are not a risk factor in prosthetic hip or knee infections. Authors call for reconsideration of administering antibiotics to all patients with prosthetic hip or knee joints who undergo dental treatment.

A report from the Mayo Clinic, published in January, described a large case-control study which examined the association between dental procedures - with or without antibiotic prophylaxis - and prosthetic joint infections. The study found no increased risk of prosthetic joint infections after dental procedures. And to top that, the study found that antibiotic prophylaxis was not associated with any reduction in risk of infection. The study data indicated that there is no need for antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with total hip or knee replacements undergoing dental procedures.

This report comes on the heels of the recent information statement by the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) that advocated using antibiotic prophylaxis in all patients with a joint prosthesis. The Mayo Clinic study was designed to determine whether dental procedures, with and without antibiotic prophylaxis, are risk factors for prosthetic hip or knee infection. It was designed as a prospective study, case controlled, in a single-institution and conducted between 2001-2006. The full report can be found in Clinical Infectious Diseases, January 1, 2010 issue. The lead author was E.F. Berbari from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, along with a bevy of authors, some of which were from the Department of Periodontics, Burnsville, Minnesota, and the Department of Endodontics, Virginia Commonwealth University.

There were 339 case patients and 339 control patients evaluated between December 2001 and May 2006. Case patients were those diagnosed with prosthetic hip or knee infections who were hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic. The control subjects were patients with prosthetic hips or knees with no infections, but who were hospitalized for: (1) an arthroplasty of a different site or side of the index total hip or knee arthroplasty, (2) for aseptic revision of the index arthroplasty, or (3) for other orthopedic procedures. Dental records were obtained from each patient's dentist. Dental procedures were categorized into low-risk and high-risk procedures. Low-risk procedures included restorative dentistry, dental filling, endodontic treatment, and fluoride treatment. High-risk procedures included dental hygiene, mouth surgery, periodontal treatment, dental extraction, and therapy for dental abscess. Hip or knee infections were determined using routine microbiological techniques that isolated the bacterial flora. In addition, a dental propensity score was calculated for each patient that predicted the propensity of each patient to visit a dentist.

The primary risk factor was whether a patient had a high risk or low risk dental procedure and whether, at the time of the procedure closest to the study date, the patient had antibiotic prophylaxis. The risk factor was defined at 4 levels: (1) patient did not have dental procedure in the observation period (reference level), (2) was an edentulous patient, none of whom had a dental visit , (3) patient had a dental procedure without antibiotic prophylaxis, and (4) patient had a dental procedure with antibiotic prophylaxis.


The total numbers of patients enrolled in the study were 339 case patients with prosthetic hip or knee infections and 339 control patients with prosthetic hip or knee replacement but no infections. There was no increased risk of prosthetic hip or knee infection for patients undergoing a high-risk or low-risk dental procedure who were not administered antibiotic prophylaxis (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.8; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.4-1.6), compared with the risk for patients not undergoing a dental procedure (adjusted OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-1.1) respectively.

Of the case patients, 292 were dentate individuals and 47 were edentulous. Of the control patients, 313 were dentate individuals and 26 were edentulous. Among the dentate case patients, 192 (66%) had undergone a low-risk dental procedure over a 2-year observation period. Among the dentate control patients, 161 (51%) had undergone a low-risk dental procedure over the same 2-year observation period. In addition, 164 of the case patients and 146 of the control patients had undergone a high-risk dental procedure over the 2-year period.

The status of oral health was then compared between case patients and control patients during the 24 months that preceded the enrollment date. Among dentate case patients, the mean number of tooth brushings per week (mean + standard deviation) was 11.7 + 5.7 for case patients and 11.9 + 5.5 for control patients. Eighty-eight of the dentate case patients had >1 dental hygiene visit; 152 of the dentate control patients had >1 dental hygiene visit. Statistically, it was determined that there was no difference in the risk of developing prosthetic hip or knee infection between a patient with at least 1 dental hygiene visit relative to a patient with no visits.

Among the 339 case patients, 259 (76%) had a diagnosis of prosthetic hip or knee infection established within 10 days before or after the study date. Staphylococci were the most commonly encountered organisms isolated from the infection sites. Thirty-five (13.5%) of the prosthetic hip or knee infection cases were associated with bacterial flora of potential oral or dental origin.

Low-risk and high-risk dental procedures performed within 6 months or 2 years of the hospital admission of infected prosthetic joints were not significantly associated with an increased risk of prosthetic hip or knee infection, compared with no dental procedure.

Odds ratio (OR) estimates were used to assess the effect of antibiotic prophylaxis on the risk of prosthetic joint infections. Low-risk and high-risk dental procedures with antibiotic prophylaxis were compared with the same risk procedure without prophylaxis. The OR estimate was 0.7 (95% CI 0.3-1.5) for low-risk procedures and 0.7 (95% CI 0.3-1.4) for high-risk procedures performed within 6 months of hospital admission. The OR estimate was 1.2 (95% CL 0.7-2.2) for low-risk procedures and 0.9 (95% CI 0.5-1.6) for high-risk procedures performed within 2 years before hospital admission date. These odd ratios and 95% confidence limit values indicated no significant differences between the risk of prosthetic joint infections with and without antibiotic prophylaxis.

The 35 patients with prosthetic hip or knee infection associated with dental flora pathogens were compared to a randomly selected group of 35 control patients. The data showed no increased risk of total hip or knee infection regardless of the use of antibiotic prophylaxis.

The study also addressed whether dental procedures were a risk factor for subsequent prosthetic hip or knee infections in patients who were immunocompromised, had diabetes, had a prior arthroplasty, had duration of prosthetic joint infection symptoms of <8>

  • There was no increased risk of prosthetic hip or knee infection for patients undergoing a high-risk or low-risk dental procedure who were not administered antibiotic prophylaxis compared with the risk for patients not undergoing a dental procedure.
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis in high-risk or low-risk dental procedures did not decrease the risk of subsequent total hip or knee infection.

  • Discussion Points

    1. The results of this large, prospective, case-controlled study at the Mayo Clinic showed that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures did not alter the subsequent risk of prosthetic hip or knee infection.
    2. The ADA/AAOS 2003 advisory panel recommends that antibiotic prophylaxis be considered in those patients who are believed to be at increased risk, and that prophylaxis is not needed in otherwise healthy patients after two years of implant surgery.
    3. The recent information statement by the AAOS (see May 2009 Clinical Perspective) has advocated using antibiotic prophylaxis in all patients with a joint prosthesis.
    4. This Mayo Clinic study suggests that the risk of prosthetic hip or knee infection following dental procedures is not increased in those groups previously identified as being at risk.
    5. The majority of prosthetic hip or knee infections are due to staphylococci. Bacterial species from dental procedures include viridians group streptococci, beta-hemolytic streptococci, and gram-positive anaerobes, species not ordinarily associated with prosthetic hip or knee infections.

    Oral Hygiene and Risk of Joint Infection

    Poor dental hygiene, periodontal, and periapical infections probably produce bacteremia in the absence of dental procedures. In the Mayo Clinic study, the authors indicated that patients with >1 dental hygiene visit were 30% less likely to develop prosthetic hip or knee infection. The authors' suggested that the reported prosthetic joint infections attributed to dental procedures were more likely to have been caused by bacteremia related to routine daily activities than by bacteremia related to dental procedures.

    In view of the previous statement, the authors emphasize that it is inconsistent to recommend prophylaxis of prosthetic hip or knee infection for dental procedures but not to recommend prophylaxis for the same patients during routine daily activities. Of course, a recommendation for universal prophylaxis for routine daily activities is impractical and impossible. However, it is important to emphasize that maintaining good oral hygiene and eradicating dental disease is a key to decreasing the frequency of bacteremia from routine daily activities.

    Accompanying Editorial to the Mayo Clinic Report

    In the same issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, there is an editorial entitled "Antibiotics for Prevention of Periprosthetic Joint Infection Following Dentistry: Time to Focus on Data," by W. Zimmerli and P. Sendi. This editorial made the following points:

    1. Prosthetic joint infections occur in 0.3% to 1% of patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and in 1% to 2% in patients after knee arthroplasty. Most of episodes are sequalea of Staphylococcus aureus sepsis, skin infection, or infections of the urinary tract.
    2. Although it is conceivable that a small portion of the infections are caused by transient bacteremia during dental procedures, clinical experience does not favor this hypothesis.
    3. The present statement by the AAOS recommends that clinicians consider antibiotic prophylaxis for all total joint replacement patients prior to any invasive procedure that may cause bacteremia. Physicians and dentists will follow these latest recommendations. But here are the consequences: general prophylaxis increases the unjustified use of antibiotics, the risk of adverse effects (toxicity and allergy) will probably outweigh any prevention of prosthetic joint infection, and the dentist could be sued for not giving antibiotics according to the AAOS guidelines.
    4. Clear conclusive data obtained from clinical studies can help in resolving the question of whom to premedicate with antibiotics.
    5. This editorial reminds the physicians and the dental community that the Mayo Clinic study has the potential to reassure the responsible physicians and dentists that antibiotic prophylaxis is not needed for all patients with total joint replacement prior to any dental procedure and to convince individuals with joint replacement that meticulous dental hygiene is important.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Dentsply Algin-X Ultra is the New Alginate Alternative

    At the recent Chicago Midwinter Meeting, I tweeted about the announcement by Dentsply of their new alginate replacement Algin-X Ultra. I was fortunate enough to be at the Dentsply Fellowship when it was announced and I asked if it was for public dissemination. When I was told "yes" I grabbed my Pre and someone in the back of the room shouted out "he's going to put it on Twitter!" This is a great time to be a writer. Between the magazine, this blog, and Twitter I can get so much more info to my readers than I've ever been able to before.

    Anyway, back to Algin-X Ultra. The material is a PVS that handles very much like a light to light medium body material. It's spearmint flavored and comes in either 50ml automix cartridges or 380ml cartridges for mixing in Penta type units. Our personal preference has been for the Penta mixing as it's just so much easier.

    The material is very accurate and the best part is the fact that it is a PVS. This means it maintains dimensional stability for 14 days and that it can be used for multiple pours with no drawbacks.

    We've been using it for study models, sports mouthguards, and as the preliminary impression for fixed prosthetic provisionals and have been very pleased with its handling and results. It's available now through your favorite dental supplier. Mine, of course, is Goetze Dental here in the Midwest.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    EverLight Evaluation Coming Soon

    Technology permeates everything we do in modern dentistry. From composite chemistry, to handpieces (like ProDrive), to lighting. As regular readers know, I'm a huge fan of portable LED operator's lights that attach to your surgical telescopes.

    Now, even the lowly dental overhead track light is getting a high tech makeover. LED's are changing the world we live in and not just in dentistry. In the not too distant future, I'll be evaluating the EverLight from DentalEZ which is an LED track light system. For those of you who use and appreciate good lighting from a track light, this evaluation should be of interest to you. LED's have incredibly long lives (50k-100k hours) which means the track light itself may wear out before the lights themselves do.

    We'll be testing it out and putting it through its paces while reporting about it here, so check back regularly.

    Here are the details from DentalEZ:

    See all your procedures in a true light.

    Operatory lights made with 100% true LED technology, only from DentalEZ®.

    DentalEZ is the first in the U.S. to design an operating light with 100% true direct LED technology. EverLight enables you to work with more precise, direct light without the need for reflectors or fans. Plus, it’s cool, quiet, and environmentally friendly.

    • Natural daylight illumination provides clearer oral cavity visibility
    • 9 color/intensity settings to meet all your operative needs, including color matching
    • Consumes 70% less energy than halogens; lowers bills
    • Lasts 10 times longer than halogens
    • Available in six mounting options
    • Revolutionary, affordable LED technology

    Proper lighting is only as good as its positioning. The optimal position of EverLight for a supine patient is directly above the patient’s mouth for mandibular and maxillary. Whenever possible, the light should be in the patient’s mid-saggital plane directly above or slightly behind the patient’s oral cavity. A good guide for proper lighting is to keep the light and eye lines within 15ยบ degrees of each other. For lower anterior lingual the best access is slightly behind.(1) Improper lighting contributes to 25% of fatigue. Proper lighting, on the other hand, can increase production by as much as 20%. Correctly positioned operatory lighting minimizes shadows and maximizes effectiveness.

    1 Denise C. Murphy, DrPH, COHN, Ergonomics And The Dental Care Worker (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 1998) p. 301.

    • 3 Kelvin Color temperatures, 3 Lux intensity settings controls

    • 12 Philips luminated LEDs maximize light output resulting in brighter, more efficient LEDeverlight_lights

    • Available in 6 mounting configurations, including chair mounted shown here everlight_chair

    • Focused light pattern provides proper color corrective light for all procedures

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Midmark Brings Progeny Vantage Panoramic to Market

    At the recent Chicago Midwinter meeting, Progeny - A Midmark Company was showing their new Vantage Panoramic. The device has been in development for a while and I've heard good things about it from those in the know, but now it's finally here and ready for you to put in your office.

    Progeny is a company that makes high quality radiographic equipment. Read on for all the details.

    Progeny®, the leading manufacturer of intraoral X- rays in the U.S., announces the debut of the VantageTM Digital Panoramic System at the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb 25-27, 2010 in Booth 2411. Vantage is designed to bring full-featured yet affordable digital panoramic imaging to general dentistry.

    Vantage offers an exceptional range of features that include advanced user tools, expanded kV and mA range, field-selectable left or right patient entry and a dedicated PC workstation with software included standard on every system. The system is designed for immediate productivity “out of the box.”

    Powered by the latest CCD imaging technology, automatic spinal compensation and Progeny’s 3- MotionTM Imaging Rotation, Vantage delivers consistent, detailed images for analysis and diagnosis. Workflow enhancements include three lasers for precise positioning, left and right mechanical controls, four pre-programmed exam selections and the unique VantageTouchTM user interface.

    VantageTouch functions much like today’s smart phones and gives new meaning to “user- friendly”. Its intuitive, multi-touch technology allows clinicians to access any function with speed and confidence just by touching the screen. Exam set-up, real-time image preview and exam status are all quickly accessed at the VantageTouch control. Exam customization and even routine maintenance procedures are all available through VantageTouch.

    In addition to its many system features, Vantage also includes a dedicated computer workstation with TWAIN enabled software as standard features. The system can be interfaced with existing practice management software or images can be captured using Progeny Imaging Software.

    “Vantage is focused on simplicity backed by sophisticated technology,” said Ed McDonough, president of Progeny. “We started with a blank page and asked ourselves ‘how much can we put in’? The result is an exceptional system that delivers easy installation, enhanced productivity and customer comfort at a very affordable level. We believe Vantage will set a new standard in digital panoramic imaging.”

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    LED Gloves - Shine On!

    As a dentist, lighting is important to me. If you can't see well, you can't perform well.

    However, I appreciate that for the non-dentists out there, lighting is a problem in lots of areas. Fortunately for me, I have a couple of extremely bright LED lights that I can use clinically and then use at home if I need them. Of course most folks won't want to spend the amount of money I spent to get t hose particular lights. For everyday use, there is the LED Glove.

    These are a good way to see what you are doing and also not get your hands cut up in the process if you're going into narrow or dangerous spaces. I would think these would work a lot better than some of the small LED devices in hats or that attach to hats. It's also doing to beat trying to hold a flashlight.

    • Multi-Purpose Mechanics Gloves with LED Lights
    • One LED light with four attachment points on each glove (two lights per pair)
    • Ergo-flex designed palm pattern
    • Reinforced foam padded palm
    • Neoprene cuff with pull tab closure

    The best part is that they are affordable, retailing for just $22.95 from Amazon.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Pentron Clinical - Simplified Esthetic Post & Core Placement - Pentron Clinical Technologies

    Here is a video that was shot by Dentalcompare back in December. This is my usual technique for post & core placement. Enjoy!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Straumann launches digital solutions platform connecting dental professionals across disciplines

    At the Chicago Midwinter Meeting Straumann, one of the big players in the world of dental implants, launched their Digital Solutions Platform.

    Chicago/Basel, 25 February 2010: At the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, one of America’s largest dental exhibitions, Straumann is presenting an array of integrated computer-based technologies that have been designed to increase confidence, safety, precision and reliability in implant and restorative dentistry.

    Under the new umbrella brand of ‘Straumann Digital Solutions’, the company now offers state-of-the-art computer-guided surgery, intra-oral scanning, and CADCAM prosthetics to specialists, general dentists and dental laboratories in various markets around the world. Straumann is the only leading manufacturer in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry to offer all these services. The company will also present a number of new products and features that will be launched over the course of the year.

    With these new innovations in intra-oral scanning, CADCAM and computer guided surgery, a complete Straumann tooth – from implant to final crown – is now available from a single provider. Straumann’s integrated state-of-the-art digital solutions now support implant placement, restoration and esthetic performance.

    Gilbert Achermann, President and CEO, commented: “Digitalization will impact all aspects of dentistry as digital workflows supersede labor-intensive manual processes, enhancing interfaces, shortening treatment, reducing potential for error and improving quality assurance. These benefits are expected to translate into lower treatment costs, added convenience and improved comfort for patients. Straumann is committed to bringing the new technologies to customers as part of an integrated array of flexible, reliable solutions that are designed to optimize workflows and enhance patient care”.

    A major drawback facing dental professionals wishing to invest in digital applications is that equipment, such as scanners, surgical guides etc., has to be sourced from a variety of manufacturers without standardization, or is part of a closed system offered exclusively by a single provider. Customers therefore face being ‘locked in’ or having flexibility without full assurance of connectivity, quality and comprehensive support services.

    Straumann Digital Solutions offer the flexibility of open, state-of-the-art systems together with seamless connectivity to one of the world’s leading implant, restoration and regenerative systems, in addition to guaranteed Straumann quality, service and network support.

    The company’s expanding portfolio of digital solutions includes three competencies: computer-guided surgery, intra-oral scanning, and CADCAM prosthetics.

    Computer guided surgery

    The combined use of 3D imaging digital design software to plan and execute precise implant placement is an emerging trend. Using a computed tomographic image of the patient’s jaw, the dental surgeon plans the position, angulation and depth of the implant on a computer using sophisticated planning software. The data are then used to produce a plastic surgical template that fits onto the patient’s teeth or gum. The template incorporates sleeves that guide drills, taps and profilers, designed for optimal implant placement. Computer-guided surgery is designed to offer the dentist a clear view of the bone condition, the position of nerve and vascular structures, and the final implant location. It simplifies the planning and execution of complex procedures, which can reduce the risk of surgical and prosthetic complications.

    Straumann entered this exciting field in 2009 through the acquisition of the dental business of IVS Solutions AG, a German company specializing in software applications for computer-guided surgery, including surgical template design and fabrication. Straumann is rolling out the technology internationally, announcing in Chicago that it will be available in North America in the course of this year.

    In addition to the benefits of user-friendliness and predictability, Straumann’s guided surgery system offers ‘open-system’ flexibility as the templates can be produced quickly and efficiently in local laboratories rather than exclusively by a central supplier. Furthermore, Straumann’s comprehensive instrument kit can be used with any Cone Beam CT scanner and can be used with other implant libraries.

    Powerful intra-oral scanning

    Straumann also announced that its CADCAM service is now connected to Cadent’s iTero intra-oral scanning system. Intra-oral scanning enables the dentist to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth using a digital scanner inside the mouth. Replacing the slower conventional process of impression-taking in the dental practice and model casting in the laboratory, digital intra-oral scanning is designed to deliver considerable time and cost savings – as well as high precision – for both the lab and the dental practice

    In addition to the data sharing-agreement that connects the two companies’ systems, Straumann has exclusive distribution rights for CADENT’s iTero scanning system in Europe and offers European dentists leading intra-oral scanning technology as part of its integrated range of solutions. The iTero scanner is designed to be easy to use and convenient because it eliminates pre-scan coating of teeth. Having open architecture, it can be used with multiple dental systems and thus offers customers flexibility and independence.

    Advanced CADCAM technology

    Modern dental prosthetic inlays, onlays, crowns, and bridges are designed by computer (CAD) and milled on computerized machines (CAM). This procedure is considerably more efficient than traditional processes and can be highly profitable for dental laboratories. Central milling of CAM prosthetics on industrial machines offers a high level of precision and reliability.

    The company is unveiling its new advanced CADCAM system at Chicago Lab Day, which includes a new scanner that is currently in development and is scheduled to launch later this year. Speed, precision, convenience and flexibility are the hallmarks of the new system, that will be capable of scanning solid master, section-cut and antagonist models. One small practical feature is an integrated web-camera to facilitate a new level online service support.

    Straumann provides a comprehensive CADCAM product portfolio including scanners, software and a full range of prosthetics in modern biocompatible, durable and esthetic materials, including polymer, metals and ceramics. Through its partnership with Ivoclar Vivadent, Straumann also offers high-performance glass ceramics for high-end esthetic restorations that are designed to be indistinguishable from natural teeth.

    Software upgrades

    Because design software is a key component in CADCAM, Straumann regularly releases upgrades to its installed scanner base. The latest ‘5.0 IO’ upgrade includes the iTero intra-oral scanning connectivity as well as a number of new features that improve workflows and functionality.

    Veneers and other additions

    Apart from the new scanning capabilities, software and materials, Straumann will launch a number of additional CADCAM features this year, including veneers, inlays and onlays.

    This means that a complete Straumann tooth – from implant to final crown – is available from a single provider in conjunction with an integrated state-of-the-art digital system of solutions to support implant placement, restoration and lasting esthetic performance.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010


    I've been using ProDrive turbines for over a year now. The aftermarket replacement turbines and handpieces made by them have been a tremendous plus for both myself and my patients. In fact the January issue of Dental Products Report has my article on why I'm such a raving fan.

    Now, if you are a W&H customer ProDrive is available for you as well. Here's the good news:

    he first performance upgrade for W&H Synea high-speed handpieces

    Montreal, March 9, 2010 – ProDrive Systems announced today the release of the W&H Synea TA96 upgrade turbine model. ProDrive’s patented turbine and bur system lock together for a noticeable increase in cut speed, control and precision. The ProDrive triangular bur shank and upgrade turbineprovide long-term, durable enhanced performance. ProDrive upgrade turbines ship with a push button back cap and a comprehensive 1-year warranty, including bearings.

    “2010 is poised to be ProDrive’s breakout year. Recent new distributor agreements and extremely positive customer experiences and product reviews in national dental publications are already lining ProDrive up to be the next standard in high-speed handpieces”, said Richard St-Pierre, ProDrive Systems President and CEO. “The upgrade turbines now available for W&H Synea handpieces expand our product offering to cover more than 80% of high-speed air handpieces currently in service across North America. ProDrive will continue to launch upgrade turbines to meet the demand.”

    ProDrive products are available through authorized dealers across the United States and Canada.Contact ProDrive Systems or your local dealer to experience the ProDrive difference.

    About ProDrive Systems
    ProDrive Systems Inc. is revolutionizing high-speed handpieces with its Triangular Bur and engaged drive Turbine System that improves the performance of dental handpieces and enhances practice efficiency. Visit for more information.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    DoctorBase Promotes Your Practice and Allows for Patient Reviews

    As the Internet continues to evolve, more and more people are turning to their computers to find everything they need. This includes health care. In the not too distant future, Google will overtake any type of phone book in usage (and in some areas, it already has).

    As the Technology Editor of Dental Products Report, I get to see some cutting edge things. However most of them deal with treating patients and not how to get more patients to treat. Of course, every once in a while one of these better mousetraps in increasing your practice profile comes along.

    Since the fall of 2009 I've been using a service called DoctorBase that provides an incredibly unique and powerful service. The company creates a web page about the doctor and the practice that provides pertinent information and me and my practice. It's not meant to replace a practice's web page, but to work with it and as a conduit to it. DoctorBase also provides a way for patient's and colleagues to make comments about your practice so that others searching for you can see what other patients and peers think.

    In addition, DoctorBase can also increase the Google ranking of the doctor in Internet searches thus making your practice easier to find and contact. I've been very pleased with the results so far.

    Now DoctorBase is about to bring another component to their service, automated Facebook word of mouth referrals. Here is the lowdown on how this new service will work... direct from the good guys at DoctorBase:

    Here's how Facebook works… A user posts a message to their profile. This post is then immediately distributed to all of the user's friends. Since the average Facebook user has 130 friends, this presents an opportunity for the user to make personal recommendations about products, services, and, of course, doctors! As a matter-of-fact, the average Facebook user recommends 4 businesses per month. And, since the recommendation is coming directly from a friend, it's trusted more than a random review on a review site and is 3 1/2 times more effective at creating an appointment request than a listing on Google.

    Here's how DoctorBase works with Facebook… DoctorBase sends a survey to your patients encouraging them to let you know how you're doing by posting a review of you on DoctorBase. When the patient posts a review on DoctorBase while logged in to Facebook, the review is automatically distributed to all of your patient's friends. Considering again that 40% of Americans use Facebook, the average Facebook user has 130 friends, and estimating a response rate to the DoctorBase survey is a very conservative 10% - DoctorBase's automation of your word-of-mouth referrals through Facebook creates 5 genuine word-of-mouth referrals for every patient in your practice.

    So how cool is that? It's just one more way you can keep your practice on the minds of prospective patients. For more info, contact DoctorBase. It's a digital world and your practice needs to be part of it! In my time dealing with the company I've found them to be professional and highly responsible to my needs. Changes and updates to my page and performed quickly and accurately. The best part is, it works in helping to promote your practice. This sevice is highly recommended.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Kavo changes Diagnodent Pen Design

    The Diagnodent was the first digital caries detection system on the market and remains as one of the best. The 655nm diode laser measures caries fluorescence and gives the doctor and patients a digital readout and audible signal to indicate the depth and size of cavities. A few years ago, Kavo introduced the Diagnodent Pen which was much smaller and more portable than the "Classic" style that utilized a handpiece connected by a cord to the rest of the unit.

    While the pen was easier to use and much easier to transport around the office, I always disliked the idea that the digital readout was facing the floor. This made getting the digital readings from the device more cumbersome and it also meant the patient couldn't see the readings at all.

    To fix those problems, Kavo has created a remote display that mimics the readout of the pen. The devices communicate over an infrared signal that is "line of sight". The new display was just shown at the Chicago Midwinter meeting and is available now. Contact your Kavo dealer or your local Kavo rep for details.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    ImageCentrik - Helps create perfect photos with a minimum of clicks

    On Friday, I got a chance to tour the newest product from Dental Learning Centers, ImageCentrik. Dennis Braunston, who founded the company has a real passion for photography and helping doctors achieve the very best they can with a minimum of effort of their parts. His philosophy has always been to make dental photography simple enough that anyone in the office can do it... and do it well. DLC has sold easy to use camera kits for some time now, but that was only the beginning.

    Now DLC has moved forward into the realm of imaging software with ImageCentrik. It keeps with the companies philosophy of ease of use and great results. The idea behind the software is a good one. Take the necessary components that anyone in dentistry needs to make their photos outstanding and provide only those tools in an easy to use interface.

    From my demo on Friday, I'd say they'e nailed this one pretty well. The image editing is great and easy to do. The interface is slick and simple. It even provides pre-setup templates that allow for drag and drop images and text so that reports for patients, parents, or third party payers can be easily created.

    Let's face it, there are a ton of image editing software programs out there. Some are great, some are so-so. What I think sets this one apart is the interface and ease of use. If you are looking for a way to make you photos editing easy, take a look at ImageCentrik.

    ImageCentrik includes:

    • Themed backgrounds (portrait and landscape)
    • Layout templates - dental specific
    • Full featured image editor
    • AACD, Orthodontic and many more custom templates
    • Drag and drop images
    • Multiple page presentations
    • Customizable content libraries
    • Patient specific photo library
    • Photo quality printing
    • Emailable presentations

    Dennis Braunston’s newest dental imaging software ImageCentrik"Presentations by Design",continues the Dental Learning Center promise to simplify and improve the dental imaging continuum.

    ImageCentrik combines the essential elements of dental image editing and case presentation into a powerful and easy-to-use tool for every sized practice.

    Today’s busy dental team can now create professional presentations, with consistent diagnosis content and beautiful results everytime.

    This all inclusive program allows practices to improve patient education and present winning presentations from simple preventive to complex restorative and cosmetic cases.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Wester Digital Announces SiliconBlue SSD's

    The SSD or Solid State Drive just keeps getting better. WD now has this amazing 256GB monster. Granted it's not as big as some regular hard drives, but the gap is closing and when you consider no moving parts and blazing fast transfer speeds, I can see these drives being the future.

    Product Features

    Solid state drives with WD quality and reliability - Protecting your data is in our DNA. With years of experience building drives that watch over data, we understand the exacting requirements needed to keep your data safe. These SSDs are no exception. Before we put the WD brand on them, they are designed and tested in WD's Fit Lab on hundreds of systems to pass our rigorous data integrity and reliability screening.
    Fast data transfer - Up to 250 MB/s read and up to 170 MB/s write transfer rates allow your system to run faster so you can work more efficiently.
    SSDs for extreme conditions - Because there are no moving parts, these rugged SSDs deliver a high tolerance for shock, vibration and extreme environments. Perfect for notebook computers that live on the edge.
    Low power consumption - Translates to longer battery life for portable computers.
    Advanced wear-leveling - Lengthens SSD life and preserves speed with a combination of dynamic and static wear-leveling algorithms designed to overcome performance degradation that occurs as a result of continual heavy use.
    TRIM command support (Windows 7) - Helps maintain the SSD's performance throughout its lifespan.
    Native Command Queuing (NCQ) - Increases the performance of SATA drives by placing read/write commands in the optimal sequential order for the fastest execution.
    Advanced error correction - Enables error-free data transmission by deploying advanced correction technologies to detect and correct errors.
    Data integrity protection - Helps ensure data integrity and availability by preventing data loss from unexpected power loss during write operations.
    Compatible - Works in any system that accepts a SATA hard drive with a standard 9.5 mm 2.5-inch form factor.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    CDC: Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule Update for 2010

    Interesting info from the CDC. Take a look:

    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) annually reviews the recommended Adult Immunization Schedule to ensure that the schedule reflects current recommendations for the licensed vaccines. In October 2009, ACIP approved the Adult Immunization Schedule for 2010, which includes several changes. A bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV2) was licensed for use in females in October 2009. ACIP recommends vaccination of females with either HPV2 or the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4). HPV4 was licensed for use in males in October 2009, and ACIP issued a permissive recommendation for use in males. Introductory sentences were added to the footnotes for measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, pneumococcal, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and meningococcal vaccines. Clarifications were made to the footnotes for measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, hepatitis A, meningococcal, and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccines, and schedule information was added to the hepatitis B vaccine footnote.

    Additional information is available as follows: schedule (in English and Spanish) at; adult vaccination at; ACIP statements for specific vaccines at; and reporting adverse events at or by telephone, 800-822-7967.

    Changes for 2010

    The human papillomavirus (HPV) footnote (#2) includes language that a bivalent HPV vaccine (HPV2) has been licensed for use in females. Either HPV2 or the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4) can be used for vaccination of females aged 19 through 26 years. In addition, language has been added to indicate that ACIP issued a permissive recommendation for use of HPV4 in males.
    The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) footnote (#5) has language added to clarify which adults born during or after 1957 do not need 1 or more doses of MMR vaccine for the measles and mumps components, and clarifies which women should receive a dose of MMR vaccine. Also, interval dosing information has been added to indicate when a second dose of MMR vaccine should be administered. Language has been added to highlight recommendations for vaccinating health-care personnel born before 1957 routinely and during outbreaks.
    The term “seasonal” has been added to the influenza footnote (#6).
    The hepatitis A footnote (#9) has language added to indicate that unvaccinated persons who anticipate close contact with an international adoptee should consider vaccination.
    The hepatitis B footnote (#10) has language added to include schedule information for the 3-dose hepatitis B vaccine.
    The meningococcal vaccine footnote (#11) clarifies which vaccine formulations are preferred for adults aged ≤55 years and ≥56 years, and which vaccine formulation can be used for revaccination. New examples have been added to demonstrate who should and should not be considered for revaccination.
    The selected conditions for Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) footnote (#13) clarifies which high-risk persons may receive 1 dose of Hib vaccine.
    The Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule has been approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Physicians.

    Suggested citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended adult immunization schedule---United States, 2010. MMWR 2010;59(1).

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The above message comes from "CDC", who is solely responsible for its content.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Novalar Receives FDA Letter Saying Marketing Brochure Could be Misleading

    Novalar is the company that markets Oraverse, an injectable drug that helps the body remove local anesthetic more quickly thus allowing a patient to become "unfrozen" faster. It seems that on February 26th, the company received a letter from the FDA stating "The brochure omits and minimizes the risks of the drug while overstating its benefits".

    In part, the letter states: "The patient brochure is misleading because it suggests that OraVerse is useful in a broader range of conditions or patients than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience. Specifically, the patient brochure contains the claim, “And now the safety and effectiveness of OraVerse have been successfully demonstrated through clinical trials involving pediatric, adolescent and adult patients ages 4 through 92.” This claim misleadingly suggests that OraVerse is approved for all patients ages 4 through 92, when this is not the case. FDA is not aware of substantial evidence to support efficacy claims in patients under the age of 6 years old. According to the Indications and Usage section of the PI, OraVerse is not recommended for use in children less than 6 years of age or weighing less than 15 kg (33 lbs). Furthermore, the Pediatric Use section of the PI states, “The safety, but not the efficacy, of OraVerse has been evaluated in pediatric patients under the age of 6 years old” (emphasis added)."

    For the full FDA letter, click here.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Sirona Launches New CEREC® Software with Biogeneric Capabilities

    I got a chance to see the new Cerec software version 3.8 at the Chicago Midwinter meeting last week. This update is impressive! If you are a Cerec Service Club member, you should be receiving it around May.

    Rather than give you my opinions after 30 minutes of time with the product, I'll let the Sirona Press Release give you the pertinent info:

    Easily and Precisely Reconstructs Natural Occlusion

    Automatic Design Procedure is Fast, Reliable, and Compatible with all Restorative Indications

Charlotte, NC (February 25, 2010) – Sirona Dental Systems, LLC (Nasdaq: SIRO), the company that pioneered digital impressions and dental CAD/CAM 25 years ago and the world’s leading producer of dental CAD/CAM and digital impression systems, is pleased to introduce user-friendly software developed for its CEREC® chairside system. The new software is based on Sirona’s patented Biogeneric technology.

    Like fingerprints, no two human teeth are identical and each tooth has its own unique characteristics. A group of researchers led by Professor Dr. Albert Mehl (Zurich University) and Professor Dr. Volker Blanz (Siegen University) have unraveled the rules that shape natural teeth, and these rules are based on a patient’s genetic makeup. Sirona has harnessed this understanding into the new Biogeneric CEREC 3D software.

    Version 3.8 of the CEREC software enables dentists to create lifelike reconstructions – even while working with completely damaged occlusal surfaces. On the basis of a single intact tooth, the program extrapolates the natural morphology of that tooth to the patient’s damaged tooth structure. CEREC 3.8 software can be used for all single-tooth restorations and for three-unit bridges.

    “Biogenerics is based exclusively on the patient’s individual dentition status,” remarked Professor Mehl. “This is a major advantage in terms of clinical reliability. The more individual the occlusion, the better the resulting functionality.”

    Currently, all occlusal design approaches are based on limited dental libraries and databases containing data records of various standard teeth. Conventional CAD/CAM programs retrieve a matching tooth from the archive, and then generate a design proposal for the given clinical situation. The user then manually edits and adapts this proposal. No objective principles exist to justify this selection, and using matching databases can be subjective and time-consuming.

    Explains Professor Mehl, “These standardized teeth are comparable to off-the-rack garments manufactured in standard sizes. Frequently, such garments do not fit properly in all places and require subsequent alteration. By contrast, a biogenerically designed tooth is a made-to-measure product; ‘tooth couture,’ if you will.”

    “Biogenerics will revolutionize occlusal surface design,” remarked Bart Doedens, Vice President, Dental CAD/CAM Systems at Sirona. “With a single mouse click, the user will obtain a natural and individually designed restoration that requires hardly any manual adjustment. Such made-to-measure restorations are simpler, quicker, and, above all, more precise than their ‘off-the-rack’ equivalents.”

    The Biogeneric design feature will replace the “dental database” feature in previous CEREC software versions. With Version 3.8, it will be possible to easily create crowns, veneers, and anatomically sized bridges. The user will simply require an intact reference tooth of the similar type – i.e., anterior or posterior.

    The time-consuming process of selecting tooth morphology from dental databases has been virtually eliminated. Moreover, due to the standardized and largely automated routines, the software is easy to learn and use.

    For more information about any of Sirona’s CAD/CAM and digital impression solutions or to schedule a free demonstration, call your local Patterson branch, 800-873-7683, or visit

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010


    At the Midwinter meeting, there was some major buzz surrounding OralDNA labs and their ability to identify things through simple tests. Fairly amazing stuff that may change the profession. Read on for details:

    Nashville, TN – February 26, 2010 – OralDNA® Labs Inc. (, 
leaders in advancing wellness in dentistry through salivary diagnostics, and a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics® Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), recently introduced its OraRisksm HPV test, a non-invasive, easy-to-use screening tool to identify the type(s) of oral human papillomavirus (also called HPV). Oral HPV is a mucosal viral infection that is a known risk factor for oral, head, and neck cancers. High-risk types of HPV that persist present an increased risk for cancers in these regions. This test will provide the dental clinician with the ability to establish risk for HPV-related cancers of the oral, head, and neck regions and determine appropriate referral and monitoring conditions.

    Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), which can be found in the oral cavity, tongue, tonsils, oropharynx, and larynx, affects approximately 40,000 individuals in the United States each year.1 The most common symptoms of SCCHN include sore throat, earache, hoarseness, and, quite often, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. Early detection of oral HPV presents an important opportunity to detect those at risk for these types of cancers before symptoms appear.

    According to OralDNA® Labs’ Medical Director Ronald C. McGlennen, MD, “The availability of the OraRisksm HPV test marks an important and timely advance in oral diagnostics, because the at-risk profile for oral cancer is rapidly changing.”

    The use of tobacco and heavy alcohol consumption have traditionally been considered to be the primary risk factors for SCCHN, but an alarming number of new cases are being diagnosed each year among persons who do not fit the tobacco and alcohol user profile.1

    “In fact, a new high-risk profile for SCCHN has emerged,” explains Dr. McGlennen. “Recent research studies have identified several high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), especially the variant known as HPV-16, as potential etiologic agents in the development of SCCHN.”

    It is now estimated that 50% of all diagnosed cases of oral cancer in the United States are attributed to the HPV virus.4 It has been well documented that HPV transmission is associated with sexual contact, with the risk of contracting HPV higher among those with multiple sex partners.

    “Oral HPV is a silent, serious infection that can now be detected and closely monitored by the dental professional,” states OralDNA® Labs’ Chief Dental Officer, Thomas W. Nabors, DDS. “Specifically, the laboratory report derived from the OraRisksm HPV salivary diagnostic test helps dental professionals identify the specific types(s) of oral HPV present, as well as the associated risk profile for each type of HPV variant detected in the patient’s oral cavity.”

    Strong candidates for the OraRisksm HPV test include patients with the following profile characteristics:

    • Sexually active
    • Family history of oral cancer
    • Signs and symptoms of oral cancer
    • Traditional risk factors for oral cancer
    • Suspicious oral lesions

    Innovative salivary diagnostic tests from OralDNA Labs are fundamental elements of a patient’s wellness plan. OraRisksm HPV is the third molecular salivary DNA test that OralDNA® Labs has introduced to the dental profession in less than a year. In 2009, the company launched two tests for periodontal disease named MyPerioPath® and MyPerioID® PST®.

    Specifically, MyPerioPath® identifies the type and concentration of specific perio-pathogenic bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease and helps support clinicians with better risk assessment and personalized treatment options for more predictable patient outcomes.

    MyPerioID® PST® identifies an individual’s genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease and enables clinicians to establish which patients are at increased risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response.

    For more information, education, and training related to OralDNA®’s salivary DNA diagnostic tests, dental professionals, including periodontists, general dentists, and dental hygienists, should visit or call (877) 577-9055.

    About OralDNA® Labs Inc. (

    OralDNA® Labs Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics® Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), is a leader in advancing wellness in dentistry through salivary diagnostics. The company’s goal is to help the dental profession achieve better clinical outcomes by providing reliable, definitive, and cost-effective clinical tests that drive the detection and prognosis of disease at an earlier, more treatable stage. Innovative salivary diagnostic tests from OralDNA® Labs are fundamental elements of a patient’s wellness plan. OralDNA® currently offers three DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for periodontal disease and oral HPV:

    MyPerioPath® identifies the type and concentration of specific perio-pathogenic bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease and helps support clinicians with better risk assessment and personalized treatment options for more predictable patient outcomes.

    MyPerioID® PST® identifies individual genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease and enables clinicians to establish which patients are at increased risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response.

    OraRisksm HPV is a non-invasive, easy-to-use screening tool to identify the type(s) of oral HPV, a mucosal viral infection that could potentially lead to oral cancer, and in turn, enables the clinician to establish increased risk for oral cancer and determine appropriate referral and monitoring conditions.

    About Quest Diagnostics®
    Quest Diagnostics® is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information, and services that patients and clinicians need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics® is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at


    1. Haddad RI. Human papillomavirus infection and oropharyngeal cancer. Medscape CME Website. Published July 17, 2007. Accessed December 4, 2009.
    2. Mork J, Lie K, Glattre E, et al. Human papillomavirus infection as a risk factor for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. N Engl J Med. 2001;344:1125-1131.
    3. Kreimer AR, Clifford GM, Boyle P, Franceschi S. Human papillomavirus types in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas worldwide: a systematic review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14:467-475.

    Saraiya M, Kawaoka K. Incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancers in the US from 1998-2003: Pre-HPV vaccine licensure. Proc Am Soc Clin Oncol. 2007;25:299s.
    5. Schwartz SM, Daling JR, Doody DR, et al. Oral cancer risk in relation to sexual history and evidence of human papillomavirus infection. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:1626-1636.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Death of Healozone Confirmed

    Today I spent some time chasing down the rumor and it was confirmed. Kavo has ceased Healozone distribution worldwide for a variety of reasons. No specifics, but it looks like ozone use in the US is pretty much at a standstill now...

    Is Healozone being pulled from the market?

    A few years ago, the Healozone product was released by Kavo as a way to arrest and remineralize caries. The device was sold in several countries and submitted to the FDA here in the states. For several years the FDA evaluation was said to be "ongoing" with approval sometime "in the future".

    The idea of being able to seal around the tooth with a handpiece and then be able to apply pressurized ozone into areas of decay to kill the bacteria seemed promising... at the time.

    One of the things I heard at the Chicago Midwinter meeting this past weekend is that Kavo is now pulling the Healozone device from the market worldwide. This rumor came from 2 reliable sources, however they are outside the company. I'll be contacting Kavo shortly to see if I can verify.

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    My Endorsement of the Gendex CB-500

    In the not too distant future you'll be seeing my picture showing up in ads for the Gendex CB-500. In fact, if you were in Chicago, you may have seen it already as the Midwinter show was the launch of the ad.

    I've been using the machine for about 18 months now and really love it, so when Gendex approached me about lending my mug to their ads, I felt it was a good fit.

    But fear not, lest you be thinking that my objectivity is now tainted. I'm pledging to do the same job as before. Looking for the best and most effective products that will help improve the lives of our patients and that includes the entire category of 3D.